“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
I have at long last come to see how good and pleasant it is when I live in unity with my husband. I had known this verse before, but now I know it by experience.
In former days our mothers broke up screaming, hair-pulling fights, saying, “Can’t you two get along?” But in that moment getting along was so unappealing to us. The last thing we wanted to do was to get along. We wanted our pound of flesh. We could not even imagine “getting along” as something desirable or more satisfying than giving full rein to the darker impulses in the blood.
At the beginning of my new marriage, I did a fair bit of arguing and a fair bit of sulking. What I have discovered is that it is never worth it. The gains are illusory, and the damages far outweigh and outlast any momentary emotional release.
I made a concerted effort to be a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9), and to “strive for peace with” my husband (Hebrews 12:14), and took to heart the counsel, “So far as it depends on you, live at peace with all” (Romans 12:18).
I made up my mind that it was possible to change my personality, because “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), and because Christ died so that I can change (Jude 24), because God Himself commands me to change (2 Corinthians 7:1). I stopped being argumentative and started pursuing peace. I started doing the little things God says to do that make a difference—being slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19), being kind and gentle in my speech (Ephesians 4:32).
Now I know what God meant in saying, “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8). Unless you taste you cannot see. The only way to really understand Psalm 133:1 and find it appealing is to try it on for size and walk around in it. How good it is (yes!), how pleasant it is (yes!) when husband and wife life in unity. How irrational sin is after all. How self-destructive. As long as we are all in this world together, we may as well make the best of it and taste and see how good and pleasant it is when we live dwell together in unity.
End of the matter: I have tried dwelling in contention, and I have tried “dwelling in unity,” and dwelling in unity is better.